6th August 2014

Making the distance work

Your bloggy twinnies are back for not one but TWO installments of our Across the Pond series this Wednesday & next. This week we are talking all things distance + how we make the distance work while being across the pond from our family + friends.

For those of you who may not know the back story lean your pretty ears this way while I give you a snappy recap. Elise (the Southern Bell) + Mark (the English gent) fell in love and decided to set up home in the USA. Stephen & I did the opposite and we are now planting roots in England. Oh and that’s just the beginning of our similarities, you can catch up by reading our first of the series here and here. Once you’ve done that I think you’ll see why we were just destined to meet. All the while I’m thanking Jesus that He sent me someone who could so relate.Once you’re done reading Elise’s answers below hop on over to her blog Cheers Y’all where you can read my responses to the same Q&A.

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elise-amp-mark_engagement-138_3

What brought you + Mark away from family & friends?

Mark is a born and raised Englishman. I’m a born and raised North Carolinian. Though we grew up an ocean apart from each other, we met and fell in love in our favorite place in the world: summer camp. Through college summers and a bit beyond, Mark lived and worked in the States. Since he had more of a home base/deeper roots here than I had in England (and generally loves the good ol’ USA!), we decided to start our life together in North Carolina.

How do you ensure that you stay in touch?

I created my blog with the purpose of staying more consistently connected to our friends and family in England. You can even read about it in my very first blog post! In most cases, women are more relational than men. That is definitely the case in our marriage —  Mark isn’t one to pick up the phone and chat, post some pictures for his friends and family to see, etc. Of course, he picks up right where he left off with all his mates…but I love to make the extra fluff in between those times.

And thank heavens for technology. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were FaceTiming with Mark’s precious 90-year-old grandma in Scotland (as seen right here!). Priceless! Additionally, we routinely FaceTime with Mark’s family on Sundays. (Though we didn’t this past Sunday and it’s still killing me!!) Sundays are very family oriented in England–think roast dinners at home–so, we like to “be” there too thanks to technology.

Being away must not be easy, how do you cure homesickness when it hits?

Sigh. I am not the one in our marriage that has to battle trans-Atlantic homesickness. And Mark doesn’t really have any girly homesick moments like I can imagine myself having (time a bajillion) if I lived in England.

One thing I think that really helps Mark is having English friends who are here in Wilmington. Believe it or not, we have several! It makes Mark feel so at home to be able to chat with his mates about football. Or to call up some friends and have a kickabout. “Soccer” is an insanely huge part of the culture over there and a big thing that Mark is passionate about as an Englishman, player, and former coach. Having that slice of “home” over here helps — though I am fully aware that it doesn’t beat heading to Villa Park with his dad and brother on occasion.

mark and elise

Oh, I also offer to make him tea multiple times a day everyday. I think that helps too.

What are some tips for establishing new friendships in a new place?

Mark and I moved to Wilmington about a year ago without knowing anyone who lived here. It was a big (and awesome!) adventure for the two of us…learning a place together and making it our own. My biggest tip would be patience. Coming from my hometown, I knew I couldn’t expect to have the deep, rich, intricate community of friends I had at the flip of a switch. It takes time. But it does happen!

We’ve met some stinkin’ aaaaamazing folks through mutual friends. Also: get plugged in! We’ve met more friends through blogging, church, and soccer to name a few!

What’s the hardest thing about being away?

It’s definitely harder for Mark than it is for me (for obvious reasons). But as the more emotional one in our marriage, I do get sad about not being around his family as much as I want to be around them. I know that there are thousands of less-than-ideal situations with in-laws. The truth is…mine are absolutely incredible and I wish we could have more time together than strands of week long visits once a year or so. That’s the hardest part. I wish they could be more involved with the normal, inconsequential ins and outs of our daily life.

There’s always something positive in every situation – what are some of the positives in this one?

I am already so excited for our future slew of children. I mean…how cool for them!! I have daydreams about taking them over to England for the summer. And it’s pretty cool that they’ll have dual citizenship as well.

I find it incredible that for the rest of my life, I’ll have ties to Europe. People dream of European vacations all the time, and I know I’ll get to travel across the pond as long as I live to visit our friends and family in England. Not as often as I would like…but still. I’m thankful for those journeys. As few and far between as they seem to be.

I also really enjoy that sometimes I’m the only one who can understand Mark. That sounds so silly — especially because his family and friends always get on him for losing much of his accent. Simultaneously, sometimes people look at me like “WHAT did he just say?” after failed attempts of “Excuse? Pardon? What?” I love it. Wifey translator, that’s me. It’s an honor.

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Aren’t they just precious!? Don’t forget that we’ll be back at the same time next week – because your two twinnies are celebrating something special.Time now to hop on over to Elise’s site Cheers Y’all, as you’ll soon see she is a gem and so is her space.

Across the Pond Index

1. Across the Pond intro

2. Stay at Home Wife

3. Making the Distance Work {the post above}!

  • Live Elise’s heart and outlook on life and marriage.

  • Thanks for sharing, Tara! Just caught your end over on Elise’s blog — and I 100% agree about mentally making your location your home. I moved away from home (only 4 hours, not across the ocean) and I could never mentally make it my home. I’m still away from my hometown now, but I’ve genuinely made much more of an effort to make this little place my home and I am so much happier that way! I love your adventure with your love in England!

  • How adorable are they?! Great post!

  • Love reading these types of posts! It’s so interesting to me the lives that you ladies have lead and continue to share about! I love her comment about their children having that opportunity in life to travel to Europe and having dual citizenship! How neat!

  • Love getting this perspective! My sister’s fiance is from England and he is in the (long, long, long) process of moving to “the Colonies” right now.

  • thanks for sharing this 🙂 definitely can relate with my husbands parents living in London…we are all about those sunday skype calls with the family!

  • Love that sweet couple so much – they are too cute! Elise is just a doll – I know I can always count on her blog for an uplifting post:) Loved reading both of your posts on this topic today!:)

  • I am a new follower of your blog and just wanted to say that I absolutely love this “across the pond” post. It is such a unique idea and you both are so sweet. You can really feel the love that each couple shares.

  • This is the first time I’m seeing this series – and this is so awesome! It’s great that you 2 met so you have somebody to talk to that actually can relate to you. I’ll have to go read your answers now!